Austin buys $469M power plant, sidesteps 20-year contract

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Energy officials say Austin has bought a wood chip-fueled biomass power plant in East Texas for $460 million to break away from a punitive contract, calling it one of the largest single purchases in the city’s history.

Southern Company, owner of the Nacogdoches Generating Facility, accepted the offer made by Austin Energy on Wednesday.

The Austin American-Statesmen reports that Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent says the city is now off the hook for escalating annual payments under a 20-year, $2.3 billion agreement slated to run through 2032. Austin Energy is also acquiring the plant’s holding company.

Sargent added the utility projects to save $275 million in purchasing the plant. The city has been the plant’s lone client since 2012.

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The City Council approved the plant’s purchase in March.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,